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Still in the dark about task group

CLAIMS that some teachers are unaware of the national initiative on improving discipline are set to trigger a rethink on better behaviour in the classroom.

Members of the ministerial-led discipline task group that reconvened on Monday in Glasgow, accept that the focus has largely been on those young people causing the more acute difficulties.

Extra funds to set up support bases and alternative provision in and out of school has been a particular feature of the high-profile strategy, closely associated with Jack McConnell, the First Minister, who launched the initiative in a Stirling secondary almost two years ago.

This week's progress review, led by Cathy Jamieson, Education Minister, will see the attention switch back to the daily grind of classroom life which studies continue to confirm tends to wear down teachers. It is picking up views expressed through the recent national debate on education by pupils, parents and teachers.

Ms Jamieson said: "Teachers tell me that they continue to have very real concerns about the level of disruption in the classroom."

Meanwhile HMI, on its inspection rounds, is gathering evidence of good practice and next year will publish a special report on how schools are improving discipline.

* The Better Behaviour - Better Learning report contained 36 recommendations and all were accepted by the Scottish Executive which has since injected pound;10 million a year for the next three years to implement the strategy across authorities. Around pound;23 million was already in the discipline pot.

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